This I Believe

Jentri - Twin Falls, Idaho
Entered on June 5, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that the choices of others affect us. In turn, I believe that the choices we make affect others. Without even realizing it we will have an affect on someone today. We will do something or make a decision that will not only affect our own life but the lives of countless others who we aren’t even thinking about when we make that decision.

A young man decided to celebrate his twenty-third birthday on a Thursday evening at a bar. He drank, laughed, and, I’m sure, enjoyed his birthday. When he was done with his late night celebrating, he decided that he could drive himself home. He got into his new truck, left the bar, and got on the freeway. After a few minutes of driving he lost control and ended up upside down completely blocking the fast lane. Disoriented, he rolled out of his truck just in time to watch as my sister ran into the back end of his precious truck.

She was killed instantly.

Rescue workers, policemen, fire fighters and passers by saw the remains of the accident. They weren’t planning on walking through sagebrush that night to look for the belongings of a stranger. My parents weren’t expecting to answer the door at two in the morning only to find a police officer with something terrible to tell them. My sister’s two little boys weren’t expecting to wake up that morning to find that they were now orphaned. My siblings and I didn’t expect to wake up to have our lives completely changed by one devastating phone call.

We all lost someone that night, a co-worker, a friend, a sister, a daughter, a mother. We all lost someone who is never coming back. Lives were changed forever that night by the decision of someone we didn’t even know; someone who was just celebrating his birthday.

We make decisions every day. We cut someone off on our way to work because we’re late. Maybe I made you late to work today. We spare some change at the grocery store because the person in front of us doesn’t have enough. Maybe you made that person’s whole day by that one act of kindness. We tell our boss we’re sick because we don’t want to go in today. Maybe you had to pick up the slack for someone else today. Whatever our reasons for doing what we do, we need to remember that it doesn’t just affect us.

I believe that I have had an affect on someone else today and someone else has had an affect on me. Who will you affect today?